For food manufacturers that have been working to build their local market, there are often refrigerated trucking companies that are going to be able to provide service to their wholesalers, supermarkets, and other clients at a competitive rate. Many times the rate is so competitive that it does not make sense to have your own fleet if your partner offers great service.
The same is true of companies that wish to expand regionally. Companies like Landstar.com have developed systems that create so much efficiency that it makes much more economic sense to rely upon their global network.
Here are some options for you to consider as you expand your shipping to clients that are outside your local area:
Operator experience: Some trucking firms connect with many operators regionally so that you can have a seamless experience and ship your refrigerated trailer coast to coast or between several states. Companies that have been in business for a while have normally vetted their operators more thoroughly than their competitors, giving you the opportunity to work with drivers and schedulers that will keep your product arriving at your clients in perfect condition. Because circumstances at individual firms can change, however, it is a good idea to keep a quality check in place regardless of how many times you have used your partner.
Routes available: The more shipments that a partner makes each week, the easier it is for you to take and fulfill orders that your clients may have without having to schedule them far in advance. One of the important parts of being involved with a company that has a lot of routes available is having the type of computer access that you need to see all parts of the shipping schedule that they can provide you with. A shipment booking application is a good start. To be most effective, it should show you all of the options for the time period and destination that you would like to ship on and from.
Warehouse partners: Although you plan to ship direct, there are times when orders change or get canceled. When the merchandise is in a refrigerated container and has been sent out regionally, it is logical to want to know if your shipping firm has access to temporary storage space so that you can re-route the product without cutting into the schedule of the operator. Strong shipping partners should already have those relationships and should be able to re-route your product safely, even if you end up sending the shipment to an Amazon warehouse as a backup for sale online.